The History of Neoga Township High School
Neoga (population 1,854) is located in northwestern Cumberland County off of Interstate 57 approximately 18 miles north of Effingham. U.S. Route 45 runs through the middle of town. Two major railroad systems, the Illinois Central Gulf and the Norfolk & Western, have tracks that intersect on the south side of town. A branch of the Henry Creek flows through the northwest side of town.
Neoga genuinely has a rich and storied tradition of providing quality education for its children. The school building pictured above served the town proudly from 1909 through 1978. It is probable the school system was established many years before the brick building was erected. In 1953 the first changes to the Neoga school system took place with an addition added to the building above. This was done to make room for children of several smaller country schools in the area that were closed. The nearby villages of Trowbridge, Etna, and Pioneer did maintain a country grade school however. This was the order for several years until 1978. It was this year that the surrounding grade schools were closed and a time for a change occurred at the high school. The need for a newer, larger building for the students of the Neoga school system was pursued. It was decided to demolish the grand old lady and replace her, causing sadness in the hearts of many of the alumni of Neoga Township High School. The name of the high school was changed slightly, from Neoga Township High School to Neoga Community High School. Though the school fight song, nickname, and District number remained the same. The school colors changed slightly from scarlet and gray to red and white.
It is realized by this writer that technically Neoga High School never “deactivated”. However the passion shown in a submission by former student Robert L. Young (class of 1943) caused me to rethink my position of this site. To watch your school building be torn down and replaced is, to some, an anguishing experience. I apologize to anyone from Neoga who may be insulted by the inclusion of Neoga Township High School, it is not intended to be included in a negative way. Rather this page is included to salute those like Mr. Young, whose fond memories of their high school they wish to share and have live on forever. You can view a web site created by Mr. Young regarding his class of 1943 and Neoga Township High School by visiting:
We received some sad news in November of 2006 about the passing of our long time fan and staunch supporter of the Glory Days site, Dr. Robert Young. Dr. Young was one of our early fans who saw the real value and potential of the Glory Days site and the purpose behind it. Dr. Young loved his childhood life in rural Cumberland County and he especially loved his Neoga Township High School. Check out the Neoga and Etna pages of this site, they were made possible with the excellent assistance and great passion of Dr. Robert Young. Dr. Young had his own websites recognizing his schools which can be visited at the following addresses:
Our heart goes out to Dr. Young’s family and friends. Cumberland County has lost a great man. A great tribute to Dr. Young and his lifetime filled with incredible accomplishments can be viewed at:
Neoga Township High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
Year brick school building opened: 1909
Year Township HS closed: 1978
School nickname: the “Indians”
School colors: Before 1938 – Purple & Gold
After 1938 – Scarlet & Gray
School Fight Song: Before 1938 – “Cheer Neoga” sung to “Cheer Illini”
After 1938 – “Neoga High Fight Song” sung to
Washington and Lee University March (by Mac Swengel)